Is Ear Popping a TMJ Symptom?

TMJ relief

The popping noise coming from the fireplace on a winter night sounds so cozy. But what if the sound comes from inside your ear? Patients with TMJ disorders often mention a clicking or popping noise in the jaw or ear when they talk about their ordeals. We'll talk more about it in this blog post and some natural TMJ relief methods that may help alleviate the discomfort of TMJ disorders.


Is Ear Popping Common When You Have a TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex joints in the body. Composed of a series of discs, bones, and muscles, it connects the skull and jawbone and allows jaw movements. Each person has two of these joints, one on each side of the head. 

Do you often hear a clicking or popping sound in your ear when you chew or speak? It can be a sign of a temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ disorder is one of the most common chronic disorders that affect our jaw joints and can lead to headaches, ear pain, facial pain, neck aches, and decreased quality of life.

The popping or any bothering sounds in the ear could occur when you:

  • Grind your teeth
  • Clench your jaw tightly
  • Bite your cheek

If you do those movements more often, there's a bigger chance that your temporomandibular joint will wear and tear. The popping sound in the ear is not something you should worry about deeply, especially if it doesn’t cause any pain. But if you experience this symptom with pain, you need to look for TMJ relief right away. It's essential to prevent long-term damage to your jaw joint.


Other Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

Understanding the symptoms of a TMJ disorder is essential for patients. Any the following signs and symptoms can identify the condition:

  • Locked Jaw

This is common for people who have TMJ disorder because their ligaments had torn and made the discs become displaced. Some people describe a locked jaw as painful and horrific. Opening or closing the mouth is impossible.

Others experience no pain whatsoever, which is lucky in a way but can also be concerning if you don't know the cause of your symptoms. The best people to consult for this would be dentists or upper cervical chiropractors, as they can help examine and figure out the potential causes why you experience jaw locking.

  • Pain in Every Jaw Movement

Damage to the temporomandibular joint can cause throbbing pain to your jaw. Jaw movements such as chewing, speaking, opening, and closing your mouth, may trigger the pain. 

  • Facial Tiredness  

When you always feel tired, your physical, mental, and emotional health will suffer. Tiredness is no laughing matter as it could get in the way of living your best life. A TMJ disorder could cause chronic fatigue. How?

Your jaw is constantly working for you, which can lead to many problems. For example, all the repeated movements of your mouth muscles when you talk, yawn, and chew can strain your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These strains are not only uncomfortable but also affect the surrounding nerves, impacting your quality of sleep if left untreated. The ultimate result is excessive snoring or sleep apnea. 

  • Restricted Movement 

When you have a TMJ disorder, you will experience having limited or restricted activities in your jaw area. This means that you cannot maximize your jaw's function anymore. Doing so will cause severe discomfort and can add up to your pain.

TMJ relief

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

Identifying the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder is sometimes easy. However, determining its root cause could be a challenge. An upper cervical chiropractor can help in identifying the source of your pain and discomfort. Here are a couple of known causes of a TMJ disorder:

  • Poor Posture 

This temporomandibular joint is carefully balanced, so poor posture, such as slouching or looking down at your phone, can significantly affect it. In addition, alignment issues in your neck, head, and shoulders can cause your jaw joints to cramp, lock, and pop.

  • Whiplash 

If you have been in a car accident, you likely had a whiplash injury. Caused by the forceful and too sudden movements of your neck during an impact, whiplash could add extreme and excessive pressure to your temporomandibular joint. Also, a fracture caused by the whiplash can lead to the dislocation of your TMJ.

  • Excessive Eating of Gums

Constant and aggressive chewing of gums can overwork the muscles in the jaw, leading to painful spasms and TMJ disorder. 

  • Arthritis in the Joint 

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis contribute to the development of TMJ disorder. The severity and progression of your symptoms may depend on the kind of arthritis you have.

  • Anxiety and Stress 

Did you feel any pressure, stress, and anxiety on yourself before developing a TMJ disorder? Well, all of these heightened emotions could have brought your symptoms. Anxiety and stress can make the muscles of your face tighten, make you clench your jaw, and cause you to grind your teeth more. These jaw movements can cause intense soreness to your joints and muscles.


Lifestyle Modifications for TMJ Relief 

There are some ways to relieve your TMJ symptoms that could be done in the comfort of your home. 

  • Eating soft foods
  • Avoiding constant chewing of gums
  • Avoiding jaw clenching
  • Managing your stress by letting your body stay calm and relaxed
  • Doing some jaw exercises. You can gently stretch your jaw for at least 2-3 minutes every day.


Visit an Upper Cervical Chiropractor Near You

TMJ disorder can make you uncomfortable and miserable—and worse things may follow! The discomfort can quickly spread to other parts of your body, affecting how you sleep at night. But relief isn't as far away or difficult as it may seem. Just a few gentle adjustments from a certified upper cervical chiropractor can put everything back in place so that your jaw returns to normal with no pain! 

Upper cervical chiropractors are highly focused on getting to the root of TMJ disorders. They use gentle and precise techniques to correct the misalignments that lead to TMJ pain. These adjustments can also help in reducing the pressure that's associated with your symptoms. When this underlying issue is finally resolved, you can go back to living with a pain-free jaw again.

So, if you think that your TMJ disorder stems from a misalignment in your neck due to an injury, then see an upper cervical chiropractor in your area to fix things up!


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.